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Elementary School Students Participate in Reading Event at USDE

July 22, 2009
Nearly 50 students from Gaithersburg Elementary School and Washington Grove Elementary School traveled today to the front lawn of the United States Department of Education (USDE) in Washington, D.C., to participate in a reading event with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, first lady Michelle Obama's mother Marian Robinson, and other top government officials. The event is part of USDE’s summer reading campaign—“Read to the Top!”—that aims to combat losses in reading achievement over the summer months.

This is the second group of students from Montgomery County Public Schools to participate in "Read to the Top" this summer.

The students are participants in Extended Learning Opportunities–Summer Adventures in Learning (ELO-SAIL), a free, four-week summer program in Montgomery County Public Schools that reinforces reading and math skills. ELO-SAIL serves nearly 8,000 students entering kindergarten through fifth grade in 30 Title I schools.

Gathered under the trees on the western plaza of the USDE, students heard stories read by Secretary Duncan, Mr. Emanuel, and others—and participated in “book talks” to discuss the stories. Each child also received a book to take home, donated by Scholastic, a sponsor of the program.

The “Read to the Top!” initiative represents USDE’s response to President Obama’s “United We Serve” national volunteer campaign that calls for all Americans to serve in their communities. The Secretary, other Cabinet members, and top government officials will read to elementary-age children weekly at lunchtime throughout the summer.

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